Effects of Diabetes on the Body (a List of Complications)
When it comes to handling your diabetes, it can be hard work, but it is worth it in the long run.
If you have a poor hand in maintaining it, it can gradually lead to all sorts of complications, taking a toll on almost every organ in the body, including:
- Blood vessels and heart
- Gums and teeth
- Gastrointestinal tract
Let us take a look at each separately
Blood Vessels and Heart
The risk of cardiovascular disease is practically doubled when we don’t have proper control over diabetes.
Same goes for blood vessels and nerves as they may lead to complications with the feet which may eventually end in their amputation.
The problem is people may not notice any symptoms until they get a stroke or heart attack.
As for your feet, watch out for any symptoms like lack of sensations, changes in color and cramps.
The good news here is that we can prevent these problems (or at least lessen them if we already have them) by properly managing this disease.
Did you know that among adults aged 20-74 here in the U.S. diabetes is the main cause of vision loss?
It can lead to problems such as:
- Diabetic retinopathy
Some of these and more can lead to blindness if not treated in time. The symptoms are more than clear: problems with seeing and sudden vision loss.
Once again, the good news here is that regular eye exams and proper treating of the problem can hinder as much as 90% of these diabetes-related conditions.
Diabetes seems to be the main cause of kidney disease among Americans as well. In fact, in accounts for almost 50% of the new cases.
The symptoms are most often non-existent at the beginning. Later on, people can notice swelling in their legs and feet.
The good news is that drugs against high blood pressure are also useful in this case as they have been known to cut one’s risk of kidney failure by 33%!
This type of damage affects as much as 70% of those who have diabetes. This is because high glucose levels can lead to nerve damage.
- Peripheral diabetic neuropathy – it can either cause burning, loss of feeling, or pain in your feet. Sometimes a combination of symptoms can occur. It most often starts with one’s toes but can also affect other parts of one’s body such as the hands.
- Autonomic neuropathy – this usually stems from damage done to the nerves which control one’s internal organs. The symptoms are many: dizziness, not being aware when your blood sugar levels are high, or your bladder is full, fainting and a condition called gastroparesis which has to do with digestion issues.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to deal with this.
Your doctor can prescribe some creams or ointments which you can apply topically on the skin or medication which puts a stop to seizures, such as an antidepressant.
There is also a device which stimulates one’s nerves called TENS.
In the case that one is diabetic, it heightens their risk of gum disease.
Symptoms of this disease are swollen, bleeding and reddened gums.
The good news is that with proper oral hygiene (this includes rinsing with antiseptic mouth wash, as well as flossing), regular visits to the dentist and keeping sugar levels under control, should be enough to hinder any risk.
Now that we are aware of the complications which can arise due to diabetes, we need to maintain our condition as best as we can.
This can mean that even a simple lifestyle change for the better can not only stop but also reverse a condition caused by diabetes.
Treating these complications is all about slowing down the damage, which can include taking certain medications and, in some cases, surgery.
The best methods are always natural.
Treat cholesterol and high blood pressure, maintain blood sugar levels, don’t smoke, make the right dietary choices, and, if you happen to be overweight or obese, you’ll be doing your health a huge favor by losing some of that weight.
Not to mention you’ll be lowering the risk of the complications mentioned above. Stay healthy, dear readers.